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LVI     EXTINCTION OF THE CALIPHATE    171
residence Tus, in which only fifty inhabited houses had
been left, and the Persian nobles at once bought up the
land to build residences near him. Upon Ogotay's death
his widow despatched Arghun to supersede and arrest
this able official, who was put to death by having earth
forced down his throat-
Under Arghun the taxes were at first levied with the
utmost severity by Sharaf-u-Din, his Moslem interpreter,
but after the death of the latter every effort was made to
secure good administration, and Kuyuk, upon his succes-
sion, confirmed Arghun in his government. Mangu, too,
approved of his administration, and in order to remedy
abuses by which the princes of the blood secured orders
on the revenue, it was decided that a fixed poll-tax should
be paid and that nothing else should be exacted.
The Appointment of Hulagu Khan to Persia^ A.H. 649
(1251).óMangu was elected Khakan in A.D. 1251, and
upon his accession two great expeditions were decided
upon, one under his next brother, Khubilay, to China,
and the other under a younger brother, Hulagu Khan,
the founder of the dynasty of the Il-Khans, to Persia.
Hulagu with a strong army and a powerful Chinese
engineer and artillery corps started from Karacoram in
A.D. 1252, with instructions to crush the Assassins and
to extinguish the Caliphate. The Mongol prince moved
even more leisurely than was usual and did not reach the
borders of his command until three and a half years later.
At Kesh he was met by Arghun, who was accompanied
by the future historian, Ata Malik of Juwayn. This
able Persian servdti Hulagu as secretary through the im-
portant campaign that followed and was thereby enabled
to write a history from first-hand sources.
The Dynasty of the Assassins at its Zenith.óReference
has already twice been made to the Assassins, who were
Hulagu's first objective, and before we come to the ex-
tirpation of this noxious sect some account of their later
history is necessary. Hasan Sabbah lived to a green old
age and, having put to death both his own sons, appointed
his colleague Kiya Buzurg-Umid to succeed him. The
importance of the sect increased under this man and